From their very first moments at Graland, even the youngest of students are taught how to tinker, create, and innovate through the Gates Invention and Innovation program. Guided by talented innovation specialists, such as Mrs. Elizabeth Leddy, students are encouraged to use skills such as creative and critical thinking, empathy, perseverance, experimentation, and collaboration to tackle design projects in Gates Lab.
“Our ECLC students are an important part of our community at Graland because while they may be our youngest learners, they are also some of the most curious. They love to ask questions and learn about the world around them. As an innovation specialist, I want to continue to support Lower School students in playing, tinkering, failing, creating, thinking outside of the box, and trying new things,” Mrs. Leddy said.
While the ECLC students may still be relatively new to campus, it was important to Mrs. Leddy to introduce the students to a space of endless discovery and imagination as they begin their journey at Graland.
“It has been so much fun having ECLC visit the Gates Lab this year,” Mrs. Leddy said. “Their eyes are so wide as they make observations about the materials and tools in the lab. There are also many younger siblings in ECLC, so they are excited to know that I teach their older siblings in the Gates Lab as well.”
During the month of October, Mrs. Leddy planned several fall-related design challenges for her young learners. For example, “In preschool and prekindergarten, after laser-cutting cardboard acorns, we read the book We Need More Acorns. After hearing the challenges that the squirrels faced in the story, the students were tasked with designing something to help the squirrels protect the nuts they collect,” Mrs. Leddy said.
Throughout the year, Mrs. Leddy is looking forward to inviting the students back for more design and innovation challenges. With the help of brand-new kid-sized tinker tables, the possibilities are endless for students in ECLC!
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.